When David Seacord paints, he feels he is merely a conduit for a higher power to work through.
Instead of holding the brush, he is the brush.
He started painting at 50 years old and has since become a nationally sold artist. Seacord splits his time between operating out of Prairie City and New Mexico. When on the road, he lives out of a large industrial truck retrofitted with a personal library, kitchen, sleeping area and piano.
As well as being a painter, he is also a musician and piano tuning expert. Seacord said he has tuned 10,000-15,000 pianos, which provides a steady source of income between art sales. He said local retiring piano technician Ed Carwithen is referring clients to him.
Seacord paints emotionally and rarely knows what the final product will look like.
“Painting is a spiritual process,” he said. “I experience myself as the brush. I experience that there is a higher power that is doing the painting.”
People often point out divine “beauties” he subconsciously put into his own art. One example is a small grizzly bear in his piece Frozen Wild Freedom, a landscape of a mountain lake in the winter.
Seacord’s publisher, Billie Sheen, has high praise for David’s work and has faith he will become a world-renowned painter.
“The first time I saw his work I felt like I was in the presence of a very holy thing,” Sheen said.
Sheen works with many artists but said Seacord’s work stands out with its elements of light, love and connection to the universe.
Seacord compares his painting process to dancing with someone. When stepping out on to the floor, one might know the style of dance but has no idea the sequence of moves to be performed. Dancing provides a palette of options, much like Seacord has a palette of paint.
He is a self-taught artist and learned to paint by replicating different techniques to control what went onto the canvas. Over time, his skill set became broader.
Because painting is a very emotional and spiritual process for Seacord, he said people can look at one of his pieces and see his state of mind when he created it. He compares it to a tracker gleaning information from an animal’s paw print in the mud.
Unlike many artists, Seacord said he rarely suffers from an artistic block. Much like tuning a piano, he is able to sit down with a brush and access the professional skills he has learned.
“Whenever I go into my studio, pick up a brush and am really ready to be present, whatever is using me as its brush is ready to go,” he said.
Sometimes the strongest reactions to art come from those who are not often exposed to it, Seacord said, which is why he enjoys putting on shows such as an upcoming concert and exhibition at the United Methodist Church in John Day.
Those in attendance will be able to see Seacord’s work and hear him sing and play guitar and grand piano in the church.
The exhibition begins at 7 p.m. Friday, April 28, and will also be open from 9 a.m. to noon Sunday, April 30. On Saturday, April 29, Seacord will perform a concert at 7:30 p.m. with Peter and Rachel Lyttlewood of Long Creek.